Photochemical Sciences Ph.D. Dissertations


Optical Sensors for Detection of Enantiomeric Excess Application

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Photochemical Sciences

First Advisor

Pavel Anzenbacher (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Yuning Fu (Other)

Third Advisor

H. Peter Lu (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Alexis Ostrowski (Committee Member)


Chiral compounds play an essential role in drug synthesis, biological chemistry, and asymmetric catalysis. More specifically, chiral carboxylates are extensively utilized in drug development processes, and many are commercialized as drugs. Synthesis of single enantiomer together with research in methods for chiral drug separation is now a central subject for pharmaceutical development. This is because opposite enantiomers frequently possess different pharmacological benefits and toxicity. Thus, the ability to determine enantiomeric excess in chiral compounds is important for the development of new chiral drugs. Supramolecular optical chemosensors are potentially important methods in many emerging medical technologies. Due to the rapidly developing fields of supramolecular chemistry and optical detection, new sensing approaches have been developed for the recognition of many essential molecules in aqueous solutions. Because of high sensitivity and low cost, fluorescence based sensors are gaining wide popularity for chemical trace detection.

In this dissertation, we present optical methods to determine the enantiomeric composition of chiral carboxylates and α-hydroxycarboxylic acids. We used enantioselective Indicator Displacement Assays (eIDAs) for the determination of enantiomeric excess of chiral carboxylates and α-hydroxycarboxylic acids. This chiral receptor-fluorophore sensing ensemble is shown to be useful in the determination of enantiomeric excess of α-hydroxycarboxylic acids and chiral carboxylates including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).